Predesdination: see Roald Dahl.

Well where are we? it is the weekend, and beyond all expecations I have found things to do at the weekend other than write a blog.

But Fr Tim Finigan has brought our gaze towards that age old question of predestination.

It seems to me quite a Calvinist’s preoccupation, yet it does surface every now and again.

I know when it comes to the ways of God that I am more (or less) than a total beginner, but predestination doesn’t worry me in the least, perhaps it should.

I was told by the priest who received me into the Church that God’s grace is offered to all people, that it requires us to respond to that grace in order for us to be saved. So what if God knows who will be saved and who won’t? Since only God knows who will, surely it is none of our concern?

What worries  me is that so many people don’t believe we are predestined to be saved at all, so many people believe we are damned.

That is the biggest nightmare, that Jesus didn’t die for us and indeed most of the early heresies when you boil them down they reduce to that awful idea.  It is a terrible thing to believe that you aren’t saved. Easy to do if you think that only 144,000 are saved but it can easily be accepted, even among Catholics that they are not the “elect”, that salvation is for someone else, not them.

Despair is a most terrible thing and I believe that Catholicism as a religion is the least theologically open to it. Presumption is a sin yes, a bad one, but is it as bad as despair? I don’t think it is.

There is an incredibly fine line between despair and presumption that we must tread if we are to be good Catholics, that is what gives me such great hope for our religion.

Protestants can be deluded that they are destined for heaven, its what I like to call ‘golden ticket theology’ but I think just like Willy Wonker’s elect, those who assume they deserve to enter the land of milk and honey often rapidly get what is coming to them. So we should endeavor to be like Charlie, never assuming that we deserved a right amongst the elect but acting like we are.

 

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